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Mine Type: All Mines Category:   General Safety
Mine Safety and Health Administration
MSHA's Occupational Illness and Injury Prevention Program
Health Ideas

"Hazardous Chemicals at Work"

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Your Health Comes First!

Recently a miner shared his concerns about the use of a common chemical brake parts cleaner. His concern was that the brake parts cleaner might produce deadly gases when exposed to heat and open flame. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), there are two types of formulations: chlorinated and non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner. The chlorinated formulation might produce a small amount of phosgene gas if exposed to high heat or open flames. Phosgene may cause severe lung irritation or tissue damage upon exposure. In addition, some non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner formulations may cause nervous system damage with chronic (repeated) overexposure.

Before using chemicals, miners should read, understand, and pay strict attention to the warnings and protective measures on the chemical product=s label and MSDS. Chemical products can be used safely if proper precautions are taken. The application of engineering controls and/or use of personal protective equipment can prevent exposures to health hazards.

Some chemicals may be hazardous only under specific conditions and you will need to know how to avoid or prevent those conditions. If you do not understand what some of the information means, ask your foreman, safety and health specialist, or call the phone number on the label or MSDS for more information. You have a right to know about the chemical hazards where you work.

Additional information about HAZCOM may be found under "Special Initiatives" on the MSHA homepage at or click on the icon below.


Issued: 06/16/2003
Tag # AP2003-H0001

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